NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 16, 2012 Agricultural Column


The spring season is upon us although quite cool, presently.  Many producers are waiting for the soil temperatures to warm up and others have started planting, small grains.  The first tillage, across the fields, have looked very good to this point and without any additional rains producers should be able to have a very interesting planting season.  The spring season (knock on wood) appears like a large portion of the low or wet areas in the past will not be as prevalent and long rounds should be in the making.  We have not seen that since the spring of 1993.  The few fields of winter wheat that I have checked appears to be in pretty fair shape after the cold temperatures the last week.  We still do need to monitor the growing plants as frost damage will can still appear.  I have also talked to many producers who are switching acres to this point.  Many different scenerios will still arise to change their minds again but wheat and corn acres appear to be changing daily with soybeans and canola the crop to be increased, but like I said we will not know anything final until the final bell rings.  The soybean and Canola fall pricing has been very attractive creating this thinking process.  I have received questions about planting soybeans on soybean or canola ground from last year.  The answer is yes but remember the same pathogens remain similar in those two crops but if a choice is available plant soybeans on soybeans.  This rotation has been used, but not recommended, for many years in the soybean belt. 

I will also be doing a GDD trial on a field of corn this growing season.  The Ramsey County Crop Improvement association has agreed to buy to portable GD units and they will be placed in a corn field.  The purpose of this little trial will demonstrate is there is a difference in the amount of Growing Degree Days in corn planted east and west or north and south.  The thought process says that there might be additional days in the north/south planting but having units in the field will help demonstrate that difference.  If we can pick up an additional day, two or three would/could be significant in the scheme of the season.  So be watching for that. 

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